3 days ago


Vintage Electric

Vintage Electric Staplers Spend a little time looking up electric staplers and see what you find. Don’t be at all surprised to find, well, nothing. This is a subject that has not kindled the imagination of a single writer or historian. There will not be a special on the History Channel and it is highly unlikely one will not show up on the Antique Road Show. In fact, the real reason, this writer is tackling the subject, is because it has never been covered and should be, if we are going to recognize this machine as a vintage fastener. History will tell us that the electric motor was invented in the 19th century, but we will not concern ourselves with specifics, because there are many types and styles of motors. Used with actuators, you can pretty much apply motion to just about anything you want to be “electric”. The first electric typewriters were invented around 1899 by Charles Blickensderfer who did just that. He added the motor and actuator to existing patents and produced the first electric typewriter. Some fastener historians will tell you that the electric stapler came to be in the 1950’s, and that is all that is written on the subject. “The electric stapler came to be in the 1950’s.” Early examples pop up every now and again. Acme, Bates, Boston Wire Stitcher, and Swingline appeared to be the leaders in the field and judging from the number of examples found to date, did well for themselves. But, it is for sure; other companies worked their magic and produced electric staplers. 39

ACME STAPLE COMPANY The Acme Stapler pictured below appears to be one of the oldest examples. But appearance can be deceiving. Acme maintained its inventory for years and produced the same fasteners for decades. At first glance this fastener appears to be early to late 1930's. But upon closer examination, the fastener shows that it is actually early to late 1950's. Again, the company produced the fasteners for decades. This heavy duty or floor model clearly is electric but appears to be nothing more than an actuator connected to an existing model. The stapler is electric, but only in the most basic context. (Acme Floor Model) 40